Stores begin to offer mobile coupons

HOUSTON But are the coupons easy to use?

Both Target and JCPenney offer scannable mobile coupons ranging from $1 off one item to 15 and 20 percent off your total order.

Sounds great, but ABC 13 wanted to find out the technology is user friendly.

Before we head over to Target and JCPenney, we'll have to opt in to receive text messages from both Target and JCPenney. Each company will then send you a text message with a link to a mobile web page that contains offers.

Now that we have our mobile coupons loaded onto our phone, it's time to put it to the test.

"It's as easy as holding your phone out and the cashier just scans the barcode, there is no extra steps," Target employee Emily Allan said.

At Target, coupons include a dollar off Shout, Wheat Thins, a frozen pizza, and Dove chocolate. Offers are single-use and expire on the date listed, but you don't have to use all the coupons at once.

Once you make it to the check out, the clerk scans our items, bags our groceries and you are ready to use our mobile coupon.

A quick scan and instantly, our savings are revealed. But we are not quite done using coupons.

The great thing about Target is they not only let you use your cell phone coupon, but they allow you to use a manufacturer coupon, so this Shout that was originally $2.25, is now 69 cents.

Over at JCPenney, the company is testing out their mobile barcode technology in the Houston market.

"The mobile phone allows technology to walk into our world, and it gives our customers a coupon in a different way," JCPenney employee Nelson Whittington said.

Mobile coupons work the same way at checkout. The clerk simply scans the barcode from your phone and instantly saves you money.

Shoppers we spoke with say they hope more retailers get in on the mobile coupon action.

"That way I don't have to remember to bring the coupon with me or clip it or if I don't get the paper, I can always have it with me," shopper Dana Gary said.

Our very own Super Saver Erin Libranda says she expects to see a lot more retailers using mobile coupons.

"You have your loadable coupons to your Randalls and Krogers cards now, so I think electronic is the wave of the future, definitely," Libranda said.

To get mobile coupons from JCPenney, text the word "join" to jcp365. To get mobile coupons from Target, text the word "coupons" to 827438.

It may take up to two weeks before you start receiving your mobile coupons, and text messages and data rates apply.

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